The Preeminent Gallery for American Art

For more than fifty years, Spanierman Gallery cultivated a reputation as one of the country’s preeminent galleries dedicated to American Art. Founded by Ira Spanierman in 1961, the gallery initially offered a wide selection of material, including silver, arms and armor, Old Master, European and American art. Over time, Spanierman chose to focus exclusively on American art, a move that would establish the gallery as a tour-de-force in the field. Well-known for his outstanding ‘eye’ and dedication to connoisseurship, Spanierman was trusted by institutions and private collectors alike. The gallery was known to have sold to hundreds of museums across the United States and abroad while fostering the development of some of the country’s most prestigious private collections. 

In addition to its reputation as a dealer, Spanierman Gallery was esteemed in the industry for its dedication and support of art scholarship. As a young man starting off in the business, Ira Spanierman recalled researching and identifying paintings through tedious research at the Frick Art Reference Library. These hours of study left an indelible mark on Spanierman who would go on to publish catalogue raisonnés for artists such as Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, Willard Metcalf, and co-sponsor the catalogue on the work of Winslow Homer. 

When Spanierman Gallery closed in 2014 an impressive inventory remained. We are pleased to offer a selection of these works from the estates acquired by the gallery including those of Dora Maar, Solomon Ethe, Vaclav Vytlacil, John F. Carlson, Joseph Amar, James and Myron Lechay, Martha Walter, Mercedes Matter, Lamar Briggs, Sumiye Okoshi and Robert Emmett Owen.

Myron Lechay 1898–1972

Known for his delicate colorism and graceful abstract designs, Myron Lechay created landscapes and city views that have been compared to Stuart Davis's work of the 1920s and Milton Avery's art of the 1940s. After immigrating to the United States from Russia with his family in 1906, he attended public schools. He received his initial art instruction at the National Academy of Design.

Lechay's first recognition was when the art and antiques dealer, F.W. Lawlor observed him copying works by the Old Masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lawlor began to purchase works by Lechay on a regular basis, allowing the artist to support himself from his art. By the 1920s, Lechay was participating in the New York avant-garde art scene. Lechay showed regularly at Valentine Dudensing’s Valentine Gallery. He became acquainted with leading American modernists such as Stuart Davis and became a member of the Société Anonyme, where he became familiar with the art of American modernists as well as progressive European artists including Dadaists, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia.

Lechay's summer sketching forays took him not only to Gloucester, but also to Marblehead, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and to Kennebunkport, Maine. He also spent several years living and working in New Orleans. Lechay maintained a studio in New York City from the 1930s until his death in 1972. He exhibited at the Carnegie Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, the Newark Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His work is represented in the Heckscher Museum, Huntington, New York; the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; the Sheldon Art Gallery; the Davenport Art Museum, Iowa and in many other public and private collections.

Auction Results Myron Lechay